Not enough is being done to assist students who are trying to pursue a higher education.
A small group of students from the North West University (NWU) made a vow that they will not be the victims of the #FeesMustFall movement, but they will try to take ownership of the problem.
According to co-founder of Let’s Grow Together Kumbewe Liwewe the initiative is about creating employment opportunities for students while they are studying so they can be able to access some of these essentials.
“In developing a tool to assist students we grappled with several challenges these included impact and the sustainability of any intervention.
“I personally began studying in 2015, and a lot has been put in place since the rise of #FeesMustFall but they’re still a lot of students out there that struggle to get access to basic necessities, whether it’s toiletries, clothing or food,” he said.
He said to overcome these the team felt that is was necessary to create a business that was centred on improving the lives of their fellow students by promoting local businesses.
However, the team said they also have their own challenges but are striving for the best.
“Fruit and vegetables are a difficult market to operate in – perhaps one of the most difficult, actually – but when we see food grown on the campus, this began a tool for us to end food insecurity on the campus,” the team said.
Let’s Grow Together was founded in February this year. The idea began during their first year, but the conceptualization of Let’s Grow Together only happened this year.
“We have a few interesting partnerships and collaborations in the pipeline and we really want to use Let’s Grow Together as a platform to promote local businesses through this, whether it’s providing goods from local bakeries to coffee, to biltong, if its local we want it.”
Let’s Grow Together plans to make locally produced food easier to get into the hands of consumers, create employment for students and remove the hassle of having to rush to the shops after a long day at work. And through changing the buying culture of consumers “we have the consumers buying into the upliftment of needy students”.
Liwewe said they always had the perception that community outreach was an overwhelming task and it was important for them to shift that through Let’s Grow Together.
“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for staff members to actively participate in the upliftment of the students they see almost every day. We’re still continuing to grow in this manner because we want the growth of Let’s Grow Together to be as authentic as possible, but in addition to this we have started to open our second stream of finance and that will see businesses and individuals within the community actively play a part in growing Let’s Grow Together as we expand throughout the rest of the campus and also look at external opportunities,” he said.